Bringing Home Cafe-Made Hong Kong-Style Milk Tea
With Qi Aerista Smart Tea Maker
Qi Aerista was featured in a Hong Kong Economic Times article on June 1, 2016.
The following is a translated excerpt:
Hong Kong-style milk tea and lemon tea are very popular among the young people, but it is difficult to make those at home with the right taste. Now a Hong Kong company has developed a smart tea maker that allows you to brew any type of tea, including milk tea and lemon tea. You can use the app to control the time, and after you place the tea powder or tea leaves in the tea pot, the tea will be ready within 10 minutes.
The company targets tea lovers from around the world and has attracted US $100k in investments from an accelerator program. They plan to launch a Kickstarter campaign in October (now should be November — Rick) with hopes to further promote Chinese tea and Hong Kong-style milk tea. — — — — Reporter Ashley Wu
Hong Kong-style milk tea has been listed as an intangible culture heritage in Hong Kong 2 years ago. According to the industry statistics, around 2 million cups of milk tea are consumed every day in Hong Kong, but milk tea lovers find it difficult to make their own brew at home. A former researcher in an electronics company sensed its great business potential and has spent over 3 years to research for a smart tea maker for brewing tea automatically.
Rick Ha, Managing Director at smart tea maker company Qi Aerista, is a Hong Kong-style milk tea lover himself and he hopes with this smart tea maker the smell, smoothness and richness of cafe-style milk tea can be brought home. He has partnered with nationally accredited tea taster in China to research on how to brew the tea automatically including everything from tea selection, brewing time to water-tea ratio.
6 Preset Tea Types, Tea Leaves & Powder Purchasable Through App
Users can use the app to set the brewing time. Then place the tea leaves or powder into the tea pot and choose the tea type among 6 preset programs such as Oolong, Lemon and Milk Tea. The tea will be ready within 10 minutes. Cold brewing function is also available. In addition, users can buy their favorite tea leaves or tea powder through the app.
How to choose the right tea powder or tea leaves? For milk tea, it is advised to use tea powder for more accentuated color and taste. For traditional tea brewing, it is suggested that tea leaves should be used for its stronger fragrance. Rick also points out that young people prefer milk tea and lemon tea to offer them relief from daily stress, while traditional tea like Oolong and Tieguanyin are more popular among middle-age tea lovers. This smart tea maker will be sold to tea lovers from around the world, but the company will adopt different strategies in different markets. For example, milk tea might be more popular in the East while traditional tea enjoys better reception in Western countries. The company is also talking to the local cafes on collaboration opportunities.
Price Point Similar to Mid-range Coffee Makers
There is a similar tea maker offered by a US company in the market. How will Qi Aerista differentiate itself? Rick says that product focuses on making traditional tea only and it has a small tea infuser that may not be suitable for tea types like Tieguanyin that would expand during brewing. What’s more, it is priced at US $1,299 (around HK $10k). In contrast, Qi Aerista offers more tea type selections and its price is more affordable and comparable to mid-range coffee makers. However, he refuses to reveal the final price and specifics on the current round of investments.
Qi Aerista has received an investment of US $100k (around HK $777k) from EnchantVC and joined its accelerator program to help the project establish connections with manufacturers and investors. Rick says a crowdfunding campaign for Qi Aerista will be launched on Kickstarter in October (now should be November — Rick). He also says they will exploit the current trends on IoT to develop a fully connected smart tea maker and further promote Chinese tea and Hong Kong-style milk tea.
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Qi Aerista, the Smart Tea Brewer
Making tea may seem easy, but making that perfect cup consistently requires some work. Let Qi Aerista help you! Qi Aerista is an app-connected smart tea brewer that lets you hot brew, strong brew and even cold brew your favorite tea to perfection every time. Want more info? Check out our Facebook page now!